THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG EPISODE 6

At this point in the show, we have been in the house for about two weeks.  It was better than being in that hotel, but it still sucked.  This far into it, things are pretty much routine now.  

The show started out with Dulani getting into an argument with Team DC.  I was not there for this.  This happened right after my fight and I was getting stitched up at the time.  When I came back, Pena said to me ‘Yo Bryce, I wish you were here!  We would have Diaz brother those m-----f------’ and he informed me of his view of everything. 

Dulani started it and escalated it.  Pena pushed Suman with one hand while he had a broken foot haha.  I was pissed that I missed it, but at the same time I was really glad I wasn’t there.  I think it was meant to be because I would have really jumped on that m-----f----- if he said something to me.  I’m not the kind to sit there and argue, if he would have said something to me then I would have hit him in the face.  There is a lot of crap that he is saying that they don’t air and it’s been happening for a while in the house, but at the same time they are making him out worse than what he is and only showing the bad things.  Dulani isn’t that bad, he talks to get attention.  I got along with him.  I knew he really didn’t want to go outside and fight anyone.  Before we got in the house the producers had a briefing with us and told us to never take our microphones off, don’t fight and don’t vandalize anything or we would be kicked off immediately.  So I knew that Dulani was only talking and didn’t want to fight at all ever. 

RICKY/SUMAN

These two fighters were up next so the show focused on these two most of the episode so I’ll tell you how I got along with them.

Me and Ricky got along great.  If I could have a survival group out in the woods I would pick Diamond, Ricky and Jojo or Richie.  Pena could cook for us haha.  His role would be to cook and help whoop ass.  But I really got along with Ricky.  I knew Pena the most and am the most familiar and comfortable with him, but Ricky was cool too and we have a lot in common.  He likes guns and hunting just like me.  He’s a government conspiracy theorist and we talked a lot about that in the house.  If Ricky were my neighbor, he would probably be my best friend.        

His kicks are really good.  They are very hard and quick and come out of nowhere.  We went back and forth when we sparred.  He has good boxing too. We had some really good sessions.  If you fight him, you can’t just mess around with him, you definitely have to do your homework.  You can never drop your hands against him.  If you do, that is when he will get you.  If I fought him I would definitely want to take him down.  But we were really cool with each other and he was a really good friend of mine in the house. 

I got along with Suman too.  He’s a talker and has a lot of stories.  You will probably see us talking a lot more later on in the season. 

SUMAN VS RICKY

Last week I talked about the UFC Performance Institute and in this episode you got to see some of it during Ricky’s fight prep.  I knew Suman’s knee was slightly torn and that is not good when you go against someone like Ricky with those dangerous kicks.  In the fight, I thought Suman may get him down once, but he didn’t come close.  I knew it would go like that on the feet.  Everyone on Team DC was talking about his knee injury, so legs kicks were smart.  Ricky was landing shots on Suman and Suman was just looking at him.  I don’t think they affected him or that he felt it because of his adrenaline, but Ricky was still scoring points.  Suman did say that the kicks to the head hurt though.  Ricky had a good game plan and we are now up 5-1. 

POST FIGHT

We didn’t see Ricky after the fight.  They took him out right away and we knew he was hurt.  I knew Suman’s knee was slightly torn before the fight and I could tell that it got worse after it. 

I had no clue that Jay and Gunther went and talked to Dana about replacing Luis but I thought it was really cool that they did.  Team Stipe was always talking in the house about who would be the one replacing Pena. 

It was funny while we were in the hallway waiting for the fight announcement.  DC told Stipe that he was going to take his belt and then give it to Cain and he will have to take it from him, so good luck.  Stipe didn’t say too much back.  DC liked to joke around a lot, but Cain was always so serious and not too many people messed around with him.    

When they announced Richie and Allan my immediate thought was that Richie was going to kill him.  Richie is a savage. 

There are a lot of cool things happening coming up and round 1 is almost done.  Tune in next week when I break down episode 7.  And as always, thank you for your support! 

-Thug Nasty

ONE ON ONE WITH JON JACKSON

Jon Jackson is one of the top up and coming professional fighters in the southeast region.  He is currently 3-0 (1 NC) and fights out of Team Black Sails MMA in Jackson, MS.  He will be making his V3Fights’ debut on June 16 in Memphis, TN.  Standing across the cage from him will be Bobby Moffett (11-3).  A win over Moffett may very well be Jackson’s ticket to the top MMA promotion in the world. 

Jackson weighed in on this fight, his opponent and this incredible opportunity.    

How did you get started in MMA?

I got started in martial arts because I needed something to be good at to force focus in my life while learning a practical skill.  At the time I knew that I needed to find a better outlook on what makes a man. 

On June 16, you will have a tough task ahead of you when you take on a very dangerous fighter in Bobby Moffett.  However, you asked for this fight.  Why is that?

I wanted this fight with Bobby because his experience will complement my ability and show that I belong here in the world of fighting. 

How do you see this fight going and where do you feel you have the advantage?

I respect every man that gets in the ring as my opponent, but only so much.  I’m never sure how tough each opponent is, but I believe that once I feel him out, and steadied my offense, he won’t last long after that.  How long it takes may be up to him.  I feel that my biggest advantage in this fight is my intensity and pressure.  With that being said, I’ll look to keep distance and the fight standing. 

And you don’t think him having fourteen professional fights to your four will play a factor?

I honestly believe that it’ll make it a better fight.  Some less experienced guys would have a less showy, more cautious fight.  I’d like Bobby to bring the best out of me. 

A win over Moffett can lead to bigger and better things because in the crowd will be none other than UFC president, Dana White.  Do you care to comment on him coming to the fight and scouting the up and coming talent?

Fighting in front of Dana White was a silly daydream when I first picked up this game. But years ago the possibility was made more realistic when Brandon Davis went to the big show. Now I can say fighting in front of Dana White could be the single most important opportunity in my entire life. I will be ready! 

Jackson saw an opportunity and was in the right place at the right time and on June 16 he will make his V3 debut.  Does he have what it takes to top one of the best featherweights out there?  Get your tickets now!  

Tickets can be purchased at www.v3fights.com.  You can also watch online at www.flocombat.com

WHAT:  V3Fights 69

WHEN:  Saturday, June 16, 2018 | 6 pm doors open | 7 pm fights start

WHERE:  Minglewood Hall | 1555 Madison Ave | Memphis, TN 38104

ADMISSION:  $83 rows 1 & 2 | $63 reserved seating | $38 general admission

 

About V3Fights

V3FIGHTS is a professional mixed martial arts promotion that gives rising stars and top contenders the opportunity to prove their talent to fans and leaders in the industry.  V3FIGHTS presents live events on a monthly basis around the United States; including Memphis, Nashville, Tunica and Biloxi.  V3FIGHTS can be seen live all over the world through its pay-per-view deal with GFL.  Based in Memphis, Tennessee, V3FIGHTS is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG EPISODE 5

Sorry this is late.  I went on a road trip with one of my coaches/training partners, Roli Delgado to Mount Vernon, IL to train at Pedigo Submission Fighting Gym and stayed on Roli’s farm.  You may remember Roli from season 8 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ where he was on Team Mir.  This gym was awesome, nothing but savages there!  These guys were the real deal!  I’ve never seen anything like it.  They sleep on the mat, shower by using their water bottles, it was just crazy and I loved it.  I’m going back there again soon to train and hunt.  But I had no reception so I couldn’t post my blog for episode 5, so here it goes. 

After my fight I went and got seven stitches above my eye.  I couldn’t train for a week or so.  I could hit pads and drill, but couldn’t do anything live or spar. 

The show started off with Tyler drawing to pass time because he was bored.  I did the same thing.  I don’t even draw, but I was drawing a bunch, and drawing weird stuff.  We had no television, radio, phone, or any kind of contact or connection to the outside world, so I would shoot my bow or draw to pass time.    

TYLER/SUMAN

Tyler and Suman wanted to fight because Suman was talking s---.  At first he wanted to fight Dulani, everyone did.  But when Suman said he wanted Tyler, Tyler then clearly wanted to fight Suman.  In the house, Tyler would talk s--- to Suman everyday.  Tyler would say stuff to him, but Suman started it.  Tyler only started firing shots at him because Suman did it first.    I was shocked at the fight announcement at the end of the show.  I thought he was going to fight Tyler and not Ricky. 

SUMAN’S KNEE INJURY

Let me start off talking about the UFC Performance Institute first.  Every Wednesday, we would go there and it was hell.  We did nothing but cardio.  We did get to spar once there, but I had stitches and couldn’t.  The first Wednesday that we went there, we met Forrest Griffin.  He gave us a tour and then gave us all some really cool hand wraps.  I am not sure if he was supposed to do that or not, but he did and I appreciated that. 

Upstairs they have a boxing ring and an MMA cage and a bunch of monkey bars for pull-ups and rings for gymnasts.  There were also speed bags, heavy bags and a little mat area.  Down the hallway there is a big jiu-jitsu and sparring area with padded walls. 

Downstairs there is a locker room, shower, weights, turf and fancy treadmills.  There is a high altitude chamber to train in to simulate being in high altitude and a machine for rehabbing.  There is a medical room for massages or if you need a doctor to get checked out or get therapy.  My favorite room down there was a room with a sauna, ice tub and hot tub.  I used it every Wednesday.  I would go in each like five times. They also had an underwater treadmill.  Luis used that when he hurt his foot.  I was pissed that I didn’t get to use the cryotherapy machine there.  

So Suman was at the performance institute getting his knee checked out.  He told me his knee was injured so I already knew about it.  At this point in the season his knee is already slightly torn.  Coach Deron Winn saw him rehabbing it in the performance institute and spread the word about Suman’s knee and we were all talking about it.  Suman was mad that coach told everyone, but nothing really changed in the game plan though for whoever fought him.  But I know if I fought him, I would kick the s--- out of his leg. 

I don’t remember the argument in the hallway between Suman and Deron.  It was left at the gym though.  He never talked about him in the house. 

THAILAND AND MIKE

Both fighters were featured because they were the two fighting in this episode.  Thailand just has a chip on his shoulder.  We got along fine in the house.  He never did anything to me.  We were cool with each other. 

Me and mike got along really well.  He has some cool hunting stories.  He’s shot bears before and stuff like that.  I talked to Stipe’s team a lot.  I talked to my team a lot more, but I still talked to the other team in the house.  You really couldn’t avoid each other.  But both dudes were cool with me and we got along fine. 

THAILAND’S FIGHT PREP

I was doing my own thing when he was preparing.  I remember DC telling him to wrestle and Thailand’s wrestling is bad, so that surprised me.  He gets tired quick when he wrestles.  But he has dangerous hands.     

THAILAND VS MIKE

If you remember before my fight, everyone wore camo bandanas because I’m country, well in this episode did you notice that we wore orange bandanas for Thailand?  Thailand used to be a gangster so we wore a bandana with our team color for him.  Thailand thought it was cool.

I wanted Thailand to win bad and I thought he could have if he street fought him and used his hands more.  I think he lost because of the coaching.  They told him to wrestle Mike, but Thailand gets really tired whenever he wrestles.  I thought it was out of my place to tell him that, but I thought before, during, after and now that he should have put his hands on Mike.  You saw what happened when he did let his hands go, he dropped Mike right away.  But DC and them told him to wrestle so he did.  After the fight he was pissed that he wrestled but he didn’t point fingers at anyone or the coaches.  I did talk to him after the fight and he expressed his belief that he shouldn’t have wrestled and thought the same thing as me.  But the coaches convinced him that he could outwrestle Mike and he believed them.  I think if they fought again, Thailand would knock him out.  He hits hard as s---, even with 16 oz gloves you can feel his power. 

So it is now 4-1 and they picked Suman to fight Ricky.  Again I was shocked by this because I thought for sure he and Tyler were going to be fighting.  Can’t wait to see the next episode and tell you about it.  They showed previews of it and it looks awesome and like there was some drama in the house.  I missed it because I was getting stitches so I am as excited as all of you are to watch it! 

Thanks again for everyone’s support!

- Thug Nasty

 

 

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG - EPISODE 4

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER:  SEASON 27 BLOG - EPISODE 4

I know a lot of you have been waiting for this episode and so have I.  I couldn’t wait to see it and give all of you the inside scoop.  This whole experience has been awesome so far and I’m happy and grateful for everything and everyone.  Tonight was the first time my mom has watched a full fight of mine.

APRIL 28 RESULTS

Fight of the Night - James Horne/Jesse James

Submission of the Night - Justin Prescott

Performance of the Night - Mark Martin

AMATEUR FIGHTS

150 – Adryan Grundy defeated Cameron Phillips via unanimous decision

265 – Bryan Westmoreland defeated Trevor Blakney via TKO in round #1 (1:05)

185 – Jordan Fowler defeated Jaylin Castillo via unanimous decision

150 – Cameron Hall defeated Gannon Hayes via unanimous decision

265 title fight – Dakotah McFerson defeated Alex Hilliard via TKO in round #3 (1:53)

 

PROFESSIONAL FIGHTS

170 – Mark Martin defeated Mark Kolker via RNC in round #1 (1:31)

185 – James Horne defeated Jesse James via armbar in round #2 (2:44)

135 – Brian Hall and Jeremy Rogers fought to a no contest due to an illegal stomp at the end of the first round (5:00)

155 – Justin Prescott defeated Ryan Collins via kimura in round #1 (2:21)

V3FIGHTS WILL BE BACK IN ACTION ON JUNE 16, 2018 AT MINGLEWOOD HALL

 

About V3Fights

V3FIGHTS is a professional mixed martial arts promotion that gives rising stars and top contenders the opportunity to prove their talent to fans and leaders in the industry.  V3FIGHTS presents live events on a monthly basis around the United States; including Memphis, Nashville, Tunica and Biloxi.  V3FIGHTS can be seen live all over the world on www.FloCombat.com.  Based in Memphis, Tennessee, V3FIGHTS is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. 

 

 

 

 

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG EPISODE 2

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG  EPISODE 2

Thug Nasty here again and I will be breaking down this week’s episode of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 27: Team DC vs Team Stipe.  I will be doing this every week for the entire season and giving you some behind the scenes information of what went on during that night’s episode as well as what I was feeling while it was happening. 

THUG NASTY - THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: SEASON 27 BLOG

Former V3Fights' featherweight champion, Bryce 'Thug Nasty' Mitchell is featured on this season of 'The Ultimate Fighter.'  For the next couple of months, he will be sharing with everyone some of the stuff that went on behind the scenes in each episode as well as his thoughts on some of the things that we watch each week.  V3Fights' is very proud of Bryce and look forward to sharing his story with you!  We would also like to thank Thug Nasty for doing this and are honored to see him grow from an 18 year old amateur fighter to a contestant on season 27 of TUF! 

THUG NASTY - TUF SEASON 27 BLOG

Filming was for 6 weeks, but I was only in the TUF house for 4 weeks.  When we got there, they still didn’t know who the coaches were going to be.  The rumor was that TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson were going to be the coaches.  So the competition didn’t start yet and for the first two weeks we were isolated in a hotel room.  We were not allowed to leave at all or even talk to each other at the hotel.  We could order room service and eat anything we wanted and as much as we wanted.  We had a television in there that had about 15 channels but only three of them were worth watching.  I was going crazy.  The first day I was there, I didn’t know we couldn’t leave the room and I went downstairs and asked for a room key because I needed one to get into the workout room at the hotel.  I asked a guy and he was someone that worked for the UFC and he got mad at me and told me that I am not supposed leave the room.  I wanted to work out so bad and get out of that room that I just made something up and looked at him with a serious face and said that I was going crazy in the room and hearing voices and I needed to work out and he believed me and let me in the fitness center. 

The only time we were allowed to leave the hotel was to go train.  I went twice a day just to get out because I hated being isolated like that. 

EVALUTAIONS AND TEAM PICKS

During evaluations, my back was hurting because we didn’t really get to warm up.  We went so hard and so quick and only got to warm up for like five minutes.  During evaluations, we mainly just wrestled. 

The team picks were 10-15 minutes after the evaluations.  I thought I should have been the first pick, but everything thought that they should as well.  I was glad that I got picked to be on DC’s team.  He had a wrestling centered camp and I was hoping for that.  It helped me out a lot.  I also got lucky because my friend Luis Pena was also picked to be on DC’s team.  Pena and I are old training buddies from back in the day when he used to live in Arkansas so it was good to have a familiar face not only on the show, but also on the same team. 

GOING TO THE TUF HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME

Someone told the other team that all of the big rooms were on a certain side of the house, and they got to the house first and got the big rooms.  We got the smaller ones, but I was ok with that.  They got their own bathrooms and stuff like that, but I didn’t really care. 

We got to eat anything we wanted.  We would write down a list of things and they would be there in a day or two.  I ate sushi and steak pretty much every day.  It was a nice ass house and people were always outside maintaining it.  Sprinklers everywhere, awesome pool.  It was like 25 or 30 minutes from the gym too. 

FIRST TRAINING SESSION WITH TEAM DC

To be honest, I don’t really remember that first training session.  Most of the practices were hard as hell and it took some getting used to.  But I cross train so much and travel a lot to train that it didn’t really bother me being away from BARATA MMA.  They showed me a lot of new stuff, but there was so much of it that it was hard to absorb it all.  So I wrote a lot of it down so I could work on it later.  But I liked the practices.  We went twice a day, every day accept on Sunday. 

JOHN GUNTHER

They spent a lot of time featuring him last night so I’ll comment on him.  That dude is a freaking nut.  He’s not acting for the camera.  He’s really a nut and does crazy stuff.  You never knew what he was going to do.  He was one of the cool dudes on the other team and everyone in the house liked him.  I can’t wait to share more of the crazy stuff that he did later in the season.  Once I got out of the house and filming was done I looked up some of this fight videos and he’s an extremely tough dude. 

WEIGH-INS AND FIGHT DAY

The first weigh-in was nothing special, but fight day was badass.  You get to fight at noon and don’t have to wait all day like you usually do.  You wake up, eat something and then go fight.  I love that. 

It’s really quiet in the gym compared to fighting at a venue.  There are only a couple of people there instead of a couple of hundred or thousand.  But other than that, it’s pretty much the same.  That first fight we didn’t know what to expect.  We knew that Gunther was goofy, but other than that we didn’t know what to expect that first fight.  I was hyped though and my adrenaline was running and I was jacked up on coffee that day.  I had like five cups of coffee that day.  It only lasted 17 seconds and we were really pumped, but at the same time we were all respectful towards Gunther because everybody liked him.   

FIGHT PICK FOR THE SECOND FIGHT OF THE SEASON

I thought and was hoping that I was going to be picked next to fight.  I wanted to be first so I would have more recovery time.  I was telling the coaches I wanted to go first.  I was more nervous that they were not going to pick me to fight than anything else.  I didn’t care who I fought, I just wanted to go first.  I knew everyone was really good and it didn’t matter, I just wanted to go first.  So when I didn’t get picked to go next I was pretty pissed off. 

I look forward to sharing my experience with everyone throughout this season.  See you all next week! 

- Thug Nasty

 

 

AUSTIN LYONS, A MEMPHIS MMA PIONEER, RETURNS TO THE CAGE AFTER A 3 YEAR LAYOFF

18 years ago, whenever anyone associated MMA and Memphis, the name ‘Rampage Jackson’ probably came to mind.  Today, names like ‘Jaleel Willis and ‘Reggie Adams’ is who people think of when it comes to fighting in the Bluff City.  However, in between these two time periods, it was Austin Lyons that dominated the mixed martial arts scene in the mid-south. 

Lyons (12-5) has fought or been a part of just about every major organization in the world including the UFC, Bellator MMA, RFC and LFC (now LFA).  He is also a veteran of the V3 cage and after a three-year layoff, Lyons returns to V3Fights on March 24! 

Lyons now spends his time training at both the MPD boxing gym and the UFC Gym Cordova.  He has been itching to get back in the cage and showing the fans that he is still a force to be reckoned with in this sport. 

Standing in his way is the fighter everyone loves to hate, Kevin Henry.  These two have started quite a rivalry on social media as of late and when asked about this fight, here is what Lyons had to say:

“I’m just happy to be back.  The opponent doesn’t matter, but with that being said, I’m glad it’s Kevin.’ 

Whether you’re a fan of old school MMA in this area or a fan of the newer generation, get your tickets now and witness Austin Lyon’s return to the V3 cage! 

Go to www.v3fights.com to purchase your tickets.

WHAT:            V3Fights:  Adams vs Anderson

WHEN:            Saturday March 24, 2018

TIME:              Doors open at 6:00 pm and the fights start at 7:00 pm

WHERE:          Minglewood Hall - 1555 Madison Ave – Memphis, TN 38104

JANUARY 20 RESULTS

AMATEUR FIGHTS

130 - Jeremy Rogers defeated Brad Cremeans via triangle choke in round #1 (2:18)

135 - William Gipson defeated Nehemias Cruz via TKO in round #3 (2:46)

185 - Caleb Jenson defeated Dinh Bates via TKO in round #2 (2:24)

265 - Tee Cummins defeated Thomas Clingan via front choke in round #2 (1:17)

135 - Mohammad Ihmoud defeated Trevor Harvey via RNC in round #2 (1:45)

170 - Kevin Pease defeated Ben Clark via TKO in round #1 (:59)

205 - Logan Reid defeated Raheam Forest via unanimous decision

115 female - Kendal Hollowell defeated Deshimar Rodriguez via split decision

115 female - Jennifer Clausius defeated Cyndi Tarango via RNC in round #2 (1:41)

125 title - Darrius Foster defeated Keion Lucas via unanimous decision

FOSTER REMAINS THE V3FIGHTS' FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION

135  title - Hunter Joffre defeated Jacob Sandlin via unanimous decision

JOFFRE IS THE NEW V3FIGHTS' BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION

PROFESSIONAL FIGHTS

185 - Jesse James defeated Dameon Melton via RNC in round #1 (:49)

170 - Kevin Henry defeated Terry Johnson via RNC in round #1 (3:21)

145 - Reggie Adams defeated Seth Anderson via RNC in round #1 (1:20)

155 - Taylor Callens defeated Dawond Pickney via guillotine choke in round #1 (3:07)

 

NOVEMBER 18 RESULTS

NOVEMBER 18 RESULTS

V3Fights put on another great night of fights on Saturday night in Memphis, TN.  Two new champions were crowned and a lot of new faces were introduced to the Legion.  "Fight of the Night" goes to Devante Smith and Nick Gehrts who displayed what a main event is supposed to be.  They traded punches for four straight rounds until Smith was able to drop his opponent and get the TKO. 

For Terry Johnson, V3Fights 65 is a family affair

Johnsonfight.jpg

          Terry Johnson’s wife Ariele holds the bags when he breaks his first sweat before each fight.

          His twin sons Terrell and Daniel are following in their dad’s footsteps and getting ready to compete in their first jiu jitsu tournament.

          And for Rheagen, Daddy’s welterweight bout with Latral Perdue at V3Fights 65 on Nov. 18 will be the first fight she will see in person.

          So, when Johnson tells you that his MMA career is a family affair, he isn’t kidding. Why even four-year-old Cayden has been known to write notes of encouragement and stick them in his gym bag.

“They look up to the LeBron Jameses and the Steph Currys of those sports and whatnot, but when it comes down to combat, Dad is pretty good,” Johnson said. “Dad is probably their favorite fighter. Then you go with the Conor McGregors and the Georges St-Pierres and guys like that. At least in our house, I’m the biggest MMA star in the world.”

The 32-year-old is hoping to win over more fans when he makes his pro debut against Perdue.

Johnson was 5-4 as an amateur, and prior to that, he spent 12 years kickboxing. He says he has been training hard at UFC Gym in Germantown, Tenn.

He has been working on all facets of his fighting with many teachers, including Conrad Polz (former All-American wrestler at the University of Illinois), Torian Whitlow (noted muay thai practitioner), Austin Lyons (bantamweight MMA fighter) and Brian “The Law” Hall (flyweight MMA fighter).

It seems like a lot of work, but it’s nothing compared to the long journey Johnson has taken to be here. Once upon a time, he weighed 315 pounds. He was just out of school, working nights and eating fast food late at night. As he put it, his life had no direction.

When Ariele got pregnant with the twins, Johnson knew he had to make some big changes. He had visions of his kids running around on the playground and not being able to keep up with them.

Coincidentally, a friend invited him to his gym. That’s where he watched some kickboxers spar. It was love at first sight. He started working out, sculpting his body and losing weight. A coach, however, told him he had potential. So, Johnson redoubled his training with the goal of becoming a pro kickboxer.

There were some ups and downs on the way down to 170 pounds. The battle of the bulge was a tough fight to win.

“I went out and started running, started training at the gym twice a day and lost about 80 pounds because my first fight,” Johnson said. “We had to get to at least 210 before we were looking at any type of a fight and I decided to whatever I needed to. I ate grilled chicken and spinach for a year straight to make sure I could lose the weight. I was running twice a day, training twice a day, completely changed my life from the guy who was working at the animal hospital and was up at 3 a.m. eating (at International House of Pancakes).”

He eventually landed at 170 pounds, and he works hard to stay there. He hopes all his determination and sacrifice will serve as a powerful example for his children.

“I want them to see that every cheeseburger that I skipped out on for a piece of chicken breast or every dessert I could have had or every snack cake or cookie I could have had I drank water or ate almonds,” Johnson said. “When I could have been sitting at home, doing nothing playing video games or just laying around just watching TV, I was out with my Nikes or my ASICS or whatever shoe I’m wearing and I was out running to get the sweat off because I knew I had to be a certain weight and I had a job to do at a certain date.”
Johnson said: “I want them to be able to see that the hard work is the only reason my hand is getting raised. I want them to see that with hard work, you’ll get your hand raised in any race or competition.”